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Important Questions to ask your psychiatrist

Important Questions to ask your psychiatrist



There is a lot of misinformation and unanswered questions when it comes to mental health and healthcare. The stigma around mental health often leads to this unawareness. Seeking professional help can help you and your loved one manage and lead a healthier and happier life.

On your first interaction, it is advisable to have a set of questions prepared for the mental health professional about their background and expertise to decide if they are a perfect fit for your loved one. At Cadabams, we follow a holistic process where an individual or their loved ones are given a chance to know our professionals and chart out the most suitable treatment plan for recovery.

psychiatrist questions

If your loved one is showing symptoms of any mental health disorder or emotional unrest, consulting a mental health professional should be your first plan of action. In such cases, seeking a psychiatrist is your best option, as they will be able to effectively diagnose and if needed, offer a treatment plan to manage the symptoms.

Psychiatrists deal with more severe cases when compared to psychologists. They deal with patients for whom psychotherapy is currently not enough.

In some cases the patient needs a caregiver as they are not able to take care of themselves. In these conditions when the problem is very severe, gathering as much information as possible is helpful. When you have a very clear sign that someone you know does have a problem that could benefit from external help, it’s best to start preparing a list of questions to ask a psychiatrist. Here are some important questions you can begin with, once you’ve narrowed down on a psychiatrist. 

Could you tell me about your background in psychiatry?

This is a question you must ask a psychiatrist. It serves as an icebreaker towards concerns of whether you found the right psychiatrist. Getting to learn the background of the medical professional you are consulting will give you more confidence that you are approaching someone who is capable and will treat your loved one with great care.  

Is your practice independent or are you associated with a health clinic?

When searching for a psychiatrist, try to locate ones who practice not too far from your locality. Once you narrow down on a few options, a very important question to ask a psychiatrist is if the practice is independent or part of a health clinic. Picking on either depends on the mental condition of the patient. 

Severe conditions like addictions and documented mental illnesses are best treated in a health clinic where there are professionals working round the clock. A psychiatrist who is practicing independently is best approached for cases of depression, where one-on-one conversations and scheduled visits can prove to be helpful.  

Should I play an active part in caring for the patient?

If you, as a parent, relative or friend, took action to seek out a psychiatrist for help, you may be feeling a sense of responsibility to care for the patient. Asking a psychiatrist about your level of involvement in the rehabilitation process will ease the pressure. Depending on the type and severity of the condition, the psychiatrist may advise you on how best to help out or guide you to more qualified individuals who can take up full responsibility.

What improvements can be expected and when?

Psychiatric evaluations cannot determine a definite treatment period as successful procedures also depend on the patient’s co-operation. However, it is always good to ask a psychiatrist about general rehabilitation and treatment durations experienced by previous patients, as it will give you a clearer picture on expectations. 

What happens if the medications are discontinued abruptly? 

Medical supervision and timely monitoring of the patient is a crucial step in the recovery process. If you have volunteered as a secondary caregiver, do ask a psychiatrist about the duration and time of the medication that is prescribed, so you will be well and fully prepared should there be an unwanted occurrence of abrupt discontinuation. 

What are the side effects of the medication?   

Before any medication is prescribed, the patient’s medical history is thoroughly analysed. However, just as a precautionary measure, ask a psychiatrist about possible side-effects or behavioural changes that should and should not be expected after taking the medication. 

Will the symptoms completely erase?

Treatment procedures may be long, require multiple visits to the clinic and take time to showcase improvements. As a caregiver to someone who is mentally ill, asking a psychiatrist about the ultimate results of the treatment, will help you understand how to deal with it better. 

Is it possible to get addicted to the medication?

Dependency and substance abuse don’t just stem from illegal narcotics. Even prescription medications can be abused by patients if they start feeling an increased need for it beyond the required treatment duration or dosage. To avoid such instances from happening, ask a psychiatrist about the effects of the medication and how best to tackle the abuse of it. 

If you are seeking help from a good psychiatrist, look no further than Cadabams Hospital. We are Bangalore’s premier rehabilitation and mental health clinic, and house some of the country’s most well renowned mental health professionals. 

For more information on psychiatry and how it can help those in need, call us @ 96111 94949.